Klay Thompson

Report: Lakers in talks to trade No. 7 pick for Klay Thompson, as part of deal that would send Kevin Love to Warriors

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The Lakers may indeed be getting involved in the Kevin Love trade talks, but not in the way that fans in Los Angeles had initially hoped.

The latest report has L.A. dangling the number seven pick in the upcoming draft in exchange for Klay Thompson, with that pick then being flipped to the Timberwolves as Love would theoretically end up with the Warriors.

The Lakers seem ready, but the Warriors and Timberwolves, somewhat understandably, have their reservations.

From Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:

The Lakers have been in discussions to acquire Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson for the seventh pick in next week’s draft, The Times has learned.

The deal would be part of a larger three-way trade that sends Minnesota All-Star power forward Kevin Love to the Warriors. The Lakers are interested but the deal has been put on hold because of a difference in opinion within the Warriors’ organization whether or not to keep Thompson while trying to obtain Love.

The Warriors, however, are trying to keep their high-scoring backcourt tandem of Thompson and Stephen Curry together, while acquiring Love at the same time.

From Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News:

A few hours ago an NBA source insisted to me that the Warriors flat-out will not agree to any of the proposals Minnesota is currently suggesting in the Kevin Love discussions. …

The first stumbling block: The Warriors are making it clear to everyone in the league, including Minnesota president Flip Saunders, that they very much do not want to part with Klay Thompson, the key part of any Minnesota demand.

Minnesota isn’t necessarily in any rush to trade Love, and the franchise will want to make sure it gets some reasonable assets in return for dealing its best player. But it’s unclear if Thompson is even desirable for the Timberwolves, because if he continues to play at his current level, he’ll be in line for a monster contract when he hits restricted free agency the season after next, and Minnesota would surely need to add additional pieces in order to compete out West.

For the Lakers, grabbing Thompson makes a bit more sense.

L.A. has only three players signed to guaranteed contracts for next season in Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Robert Sacre — not exactly the kind of Big Three that wins you championships. The Lakers are also a franchise that isn’t interested in a patient rebuild, and would rather add proven star-level talent now to try to begin their rise back to respectability.

Things are complicated by the fact that the seven pick may or may not yield a franchise cornerstone. This is certainly expected to be a deeper draft than usual, but unless someone like Joel Embiid drops significantly, there’s no sure-fire choice to be made that would guarantee either future or immediate success.

The Lakers trading the pick for an established talent would make a lot of sense. But considering that the Warriors aren’t eager to part with Thompson, even in a deal that would net them Kevin Love, they may have to shop it somewhere else.

Zach LaVine edges Aaron Gordon in epic, insane Dunk Contest

Minnesota Timberwolves Zach LaVine slam dunks the ball during the NBA all-star skills competition in Toronto on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016. (Mark Blinch/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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TORONTO — That. Was. Amazing.

In a dunk contest that will go down with the all-time greats — Jordan vs. Dominique, Dr. J from the free throw line — Minnesota’s Zach LaVine defended his dunk contest title. Barely. Because Orlando’s Aaron Gordon was doing dunks nobody had ever seen before.

And LaVine was bringing it just as hard.

The two men advanced to the finals — dismissing Will Barton and Andre Drummond, each of whom had good dunks — and that was when it got wild.

There were four second-round dunks, and four perfect scores of 50. (That was in spite of Shaq, who wanted to give nines for second attempts.)

The Air Canada Centre crowd was exploding with every dunk. The two men went to a dunk-off — and got two more 50s.

So they went to a second-round of overtime, where LaVine put up another 50 and won the contest.

Gordon was close to perfect. Zach LaVine can flat-out fly.

Magic’s Aaron Gordon with the over-the-mascot mad dunk

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TORONTO — Aaron Gordon was giving Zach LaVine all he could handle in the Dunk Contest.

He blew the lid off the Air Canada Centre with this dunk in the first round — and it wasn’t even his best dunk of the night. Never seen this before.

This dunk contest was awesome, so much more video to come.

Zach LaVine opens Slam Dunk Contest title defense with spectacular behind-the-back slam (VIDEO)

during the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge 2016 at Air Canada Centre on February 12, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
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TORONTO — Zach LaVine clearly heard all the talk that Aaron Gordon or Will Barton had a chance to upset him in the Slam Dunk Contest. He came out ready to prove his superiority right off the bat. This behind-the-back slam was his first attempt of the night:

Even better was the reaction, both from Andre Drummond and from LaVine’s Minnesota teammates:

Splash Brothers showtime: Klay Thompson beats Stephen Curry to win Three-Point Contest

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TORONTO — It came down to the Splash Brothers. Because of course it did. Just like last season.

In the final round of the NBA All-Star Saturday Three-Point Shootout, defending champ Stephen Curry hit his first eight shots and set the bar high with 23 points — the best score of the night.

His backcourt teammate Klay Thompson responded by draining his last seven shots, which included the entire money rack, and put up 27 points — tying the event record.

That gave Thompson the upset win and the Three-Point Contest title.

Although, is it an upset if the second best shooter in the game beats the best?

“It was like déjà vu last year,” Thompson said. “Not gonna lie, I got nervous when he hit his first eight, and I didn’t think he was going to miss. But it was exciting, just coming back to Oakland [with the title], you know. Back-to-back years for Splash Brothers, it’s pretty cool.”

So does Thompson have bragging rights?

“(For) about 364 days, and then — but that’s a daily thing we do,” Thompson said. “We love to shoot against each other. You know, I’ve never been on a team with someone who shoots it better than me, so it’s a privilege to work with him every day. He makes me that much better.”

The Final round was two you expected — the Splash Brothers — plus one few did, Suns rookie Devin Booker.

Getting there was not simple. In the first round, Thompson set a high bar going first and putting up 22. Curry got hot in the middle, then hit the last two money balls to reach 21. James Harden and J.J. Redick ( who stayed behind the line this year) scored very solid 20s. Later 19-year-old rookie Booker put up a 20 to tie those two veterans. Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton (13 points) Portland’s C.J. McCollum (14) and home-town crowd favorite Raptor Kyle Lowry (15) got bounced. .

That left Harden, Redick, and McCollum in a tiebreaker, and the rookie calmly put up a 12 in 30 seconds to advance.

Booker took a step back in the final round with a 16.

Not that it mattered with the Splash Brothers in the building.